ELNET’s 4th Europe-Middle East Forum “The Day After” Gathers in Berlin

The highly anticipated 4th Europe-Middle East Forum (EMEF) took place for the first time in Berlin, Germany in the first week of June. Organized by ELNET and its Forum of Strategic Dialogue, in cooperation with the Abraham Accords Institute, founded by MP Armin Laschet, and MENA2050, headed by Eli Bar-On, this exclusive event was attended by 50 distinguished political leaders and experts from Europe and the Middle East, including the EU, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Poland and Latvia, as well as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Oman and the Palestinian territories.

In December 2020, shortly after the freshly signed Abraham Accords, the EMEF was founded and had their online debut with the unique aim to create a bridge between Israelis and Arabs as well as European and Middle Eastern leaders. With the Middle East being more volatile than ever, ELNET realized that the need for a high-level discussion format beyond formal government-to-government consultations and personal connections is more urgent than ever in 2024.

The 1.5-day conference facilitated a constructive dialogue between Europeans, Israelis, Palestinians and representatives from Arab countries about realistic options for “the day after” for Gaza, Israel and the region. Addressed in four different sessions, topics included the role of economy, security, education and culture in fostering coexistence and prosperity, and the integrative potential of the Abraham Accord.

Notable introductory speeches were given by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, Chair of ELNET’s Forum of Strategic Dialogue, and Dr. Hamad Ebrahim Abdulla, Executive Director of the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies. Following crucial debates and high-level discussions on sensitive topics, the conference concluded with keynote speeches by Mohammed Abdul Rahman Baharoon, Director General of the Dubai Public Policy Research Centre; MP Armin Laschet, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag and Co-Chair of the parliamentary Abraham Accords Group; and Alistair Burt, former UK Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa.

Reflecting on the 4th EMEF, Amos Yadlin, Chair of ELNET’s Forum of Strategic Dialogue, stated that, “[everyone] agreed that Hamas’ terror is endangering Israeli security, Arab dignity and the future of Palestinians.” In his concluding remarks he also emphasized the need to continue hosting such exclusive and unique dialogues as well as fostering behind-closed-doors exchanges that will lead to concrete cooperation between Europe and the Middle East for a sustainable path to stability and prosperity.

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